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Faculty Member - Clinical Psychology

Catherine Epkins, Ph.D.

Position:

Associate Professor

Education:

Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, 1991, University of Memphis

Contact:

Phone: (806) 834-1877

Fax: (806) 742-0818

Email: catherine.epkins@ttu.edu

Professional Service:

Editorial Boards:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (January 2013 to present)
Child Psychiatry and Human Development (January 2013 to present)
Journal of Family Psychology (January 2010 to present)
Psychological Assessment (January 2014 to present; January 2007 to 2009)
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (The Official Journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53) (1999-2005)
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (2002-2005)

Research Interests:

    I have two main areas of research:

    Childhood depression and anxiety (or social anxiety).
    I am primarily interested in delineating the common and differentiating features of depression and social anxiety in 4 areas:
  • Social aspects (e.g., social competence, social skills, friendships and peer relationships, social acceptance/rejection, social support, loneliness)
  • Cognitive aspects [e.g., negative or distorted views of self, and cognitive distortions and negative attributions in a wide range of situations children encounter (i.e., social, academic, athletic, etc.); cognitive vulnerability to depression and anxiety; information-processing]
  • Family aspects (e.g., parent-child relationships; family support; family, marital, and sibling relationships; modeling parents’ behavior)
  • Affective/biological-behavioral/physiological (negative and positive affect; temperament; physical/somatic/physiological symptoms, sleep, etc.)
  • The overall focus is on the integration or interaction of these areas (social, cognitive, family, affective/physiological) and how they are related to children’s depression and anxiety, but also how they may be differentially related to depression and anxiety.  My research integrates cognitive, interpersonal, affective, and competency-based models of child depression with applications or extensions to children's anxiety (particularly social anxiety).  

    Multiple informant (children, mothers, fathers, teachers, peers, siblings) assessment of children's behavioral/emotional problems and competencies.
    Here I am interested in delineating "what variables" contribute to discrepancies (or differences) between different informants' reports on children's behavior, and more importantly “why”?
    The main areas I have been focusing on are:
  • The informants' own psychological symptoms(e.g., depression, anxiety, anger, general psychological problems, stress, etc.)
  • The relationship between the informant and the child being assessed(e.g., positive and negative aspects of the relationship such as support, affection, conflict, hostility, acceptance/rejection in the informant-child relationship; time spent together, etc.)
  • As in my first main area of research, issues with respect to comorbidity and "specificity" of symptom/behavior type are highly emphasized. Differences in informants' reports on children's behavior are commonplace in clinical practice as well as in research on psychopathology, assessment, and treatment. My ultimate aim with this line of research is to contribute to an empirical base that will inform both applied and research child-clinical assessment and diagnostic practice, and thus improve clinical practice and treatment of children.

Selected Research:

Papers:
  • Epkins, C. C. (2014). Experiential avoidance and anxiety sensitivity: Independent, combined, and specific associations with children’s depressive, anxiety, and social anxiety symptoms. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  • Epkins, C. C., & Harper, S. L. (2014). Aspects of mothers’ and fathers’ parenting: Specific and unique relations with parents’ depression versus anxiety symptoms. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  • Ralph, L. E. R., & Epkins, C. C. (2014). Aspects of girls’ friendships: Practice implications for internalizing problems. Child & Youth Care Forum. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s10566-014-9284-8 (Based, in part, on dissertation of L. Romero Ralph)
  • Epkins, C. C., & Seegan, P. L. (2014). Mother-reported and children’s perceived social and academic competence in clinic-referred youth: Unique relations to depression and/or social anxiety and the role of self-perceptions. Child Psychiatry and Human Development. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s10578-014-0508-9
  • Scanlon, N. M, & Epkins, C. C. (2013). Aspects of mothers’ parenting: Independent and specific relations to children’s depression, anxiety, and social anxiety symptoms. Journal of Child and Family Studies. Advance online publication. doi:10/1007/s10826/013-9831-1 (Based, in part, on Masters level research project of N. Scanlon)
  • Epkins, C. C., Gardner, C., & Scanlon, N. (2013).Rumination and anxiety sensitivity in preadolescent girls: Independent, combined, and specific associations with depressive and anxiety symptoms. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 35, 540-551. doi:10.1007/s10862-013-9360-7
  • Gardner, C. E., & Epkins, C. C. (2012). Girls’ rumination and anxiety sensitivity: Are they related after controlling for girl, maternal, and parenting factors? Child and Youth Care Forum, 41, 561-578. doi:10.1007/s10566-012-9188-4 (Based on data collected with the data for C. Gardner’s Masters level research project)
  • Epkins, C. C. & Heckler, D. R. (2011). Integrating etiological models of social anxiety and depression in youth: Evidence for a cumulative interpersonal risk model. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14, 329-376. doi:10.1007/s10567-011-0101-8
  • Hutcherson, S. T, & Epkins, C. C. (2009). Differentiating parent- and peer-related interpersonal correlates of depressive symptoms and social anxiety in preadolescent girls. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26, 875-897. doi:10.1177/0265407509345654 (Based, in part, on Master’s level research project of S. Hutcherson)
  • Davis, K. A., & Epkins, C. C. (2009). Do private religious practices moderate the relation between family conflict and preadolescents’ depression and anxiety symptoms? Journal of Early Adolescence, 29, 693-717. doi:10.1177/0272431608325503 (Based, in part, on Master’s level research project of K. Davis)
  • Blount, T. H, & Epkins, C. C. (2009). Exploring modeling-based hypotheses in preadolescent girls’ and boys’ cognitive vulnerability to depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 33, 110-125. doi:10.1007/s10608-008-9195-9 (Based, in part, on Master’s level research project of T. Blount)
  • Romero, L. E., & Epkins, C. C. (2008). Girls’ cognitions of hypothetical friends: Are they related to depression, loneliness, social anxiety and perceived similarity? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 25, 311-332. doi:10.1177/0265407507087961 (Based, in part, on Master’s level research project of L. Romero).
  • Stednitz, J. N., & Epkins, C. C. (2006). Girls’ and mothers’ social anxiety, socialskills, and loneliness: Associations after accounting for depressive symptoms. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 35, 148-154. doi:10.1207/s15374424jccp3501_13 (Based on dissertation data of J. Stednitz)
  • Treutler, C. M., & Epkins, C. C. (2003). Are discrepancies among child, mother, and father reports on children's behavior related to parents' psychological symptoms and aspects of parent-child relationships? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31, 13-27. doi:10.1023/A:1021765114434 (Based on Dissertation of C. Treutler)
  • Frey, E. D., & Epkins, C. C. (2002). Examining cognitive models of externalizing and internalizing problems in subgroups of juvenile delinquents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 31, 556-566. doi:10.1207/153744202320802223 (Based on Dissertation of E. Frey)
Posters:
  • Epkins, C. C., Pereira, K., & Hoskinson-Zierk, C. (2014, November). Cognitive errors and anxiety sensitivity in girls: Unique and specific associations with depression, anxiety, and social anxiety. Poster accepted to be presented at the 48th annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Dougherty, E. H., Epkins, C. C. Scanlon, N. M., Heckler, D. R., Carroll, M., Kelly, S., & Clark, J. (2014, November). Mothers’ accepting/rejecting parenting and children’s experiential avoidance: Unique and specific relations to children’s depression, anxiety, and social anxiety. Poster accepted to be presented at the 48th annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Chong, J., Epkins, C. C., Scanlon, N. M., Gardner, C. E., Clark, J., & Schlabaugh, J. (2014, November). The mediating role of girls’ rumination in the relation between mothers’ accepting/rejecting parenting and girls’ depression versus anxiety. Poster accepted to be presented at the 48th annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Hoffmann, J. M., Epkins, C. C. Scanlon, N. M., Heckler, D. R., Carroll, M., Kelly, S., & Clark, J. (2014, November). Unique relations of maternal rejection and emotion regulation to children's depression, anxiety, and social anxiety. Poster accepted to be presented at the 48th annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Seegan, P. L., & Epkins, C. C. (2014, November). Social and academic competence and children’s depression and social Anxiety: Perceived social support as a mediator and/or moderator. Poster accepted to be presented at the 48th annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Seegan, P. L., Epkins, C. C., & Blount, T. H. (2014, October). The moderating and mediating role of girls’ negative cognitive triad in the relation between social acceptance and depression versus social anxiety. Poster presented at the National Conference in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Lawrence, KS.
  • Hoffmann, J., Epkins, C. C., Blount, T. H., Graziano, S., Clark, J., & Abraham, T. (2013, November). Mother and peer acceptance/rejection: Unique and specific relations to girls' depression versus social anxiety. Poster presented at the 47th annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Nashville, TN.
  • Blount, T. H., Epkins, C. C., Graziano, S., Clark, J. & Abraham, T. (2012, August). Girls’ Cognitive Vulnerability: Contributions of Mothers’ Depression, Cognitions, and Parenting. Poster presented at the 120th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Epkins, C. C., Blount, T. H., Graziano, S., Clark, J. & Abraham, T. (2012, August). Parenting and Cognitive Vulnerability: Specificity to Depression Versus Social Anxiety. Poster presented at the 120th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Heckler, D. R., Epkins, C. C., Scanlon, N. M., Carroll, M., Kelly, S., & Clark, J. (2012, August). Mothers’ Contingent Reactions and Children’s Anxiety/Depression: Does Emotion Regulation Moderate? Poster presented at the 120th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Hoskinson, C. H., Epkins, C. C., Harper, S., Schneider, J., & Ojeda, K. (2012, August). Mood-Induced Interpretations of Ambiguity and Girls’ Anxiety Versus Depression. Poster presented at the 120th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Marnell, M., Epkins, C. C., Hester, N., & Rozea, H. (2012, August). Threat and Self-Blame Marital Conflict Appraisals in Anxiety Versus Depression. Poster presented at the 120th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Epkins, C. C., Gardner, C. E., Scanlon, N. M., Clark, J., & Schlabaugh, J. A. (2010, November). Examining the Relation between Mothers’ and Girls’ Anxiety Sensitivity: The Role of Depression, Time Spent Together and Maternal Rejection and Hostility. Poster presented at the 44th annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, San Francisco, CA.
  • Epkins, C. C., Egger, C. D., Blount, T. H., Graziano, S., Clark, J., & Abraham, T. (2010, November). A Closer Look at Mother-Daughter Discrepancies in Their Reports of Girls’ Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior. Poster presented at the 44th annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, San Francisco, CA.

Teaching Interests and Activities:

Member of the TTU Teaching Academy (since 1998).

Graduate courses:

  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Introduction to Child/Adolescent and Family Treatment Approaches
  • Advanced Clinical Practicum

Undergraduate courses:

  • Abnormal Child Psychology

Clinical Interests and Activities:

  • Child, adolescent, and family therapy
  • Parent training groups
  • Child/adolescent psychological assessment

Student Research Projects:

Representive titles of dissertations:

  • Within-Group Differences in Hispanic Children’s Symptoms of Depression, Anxiety, and Social Anxiety and their Relations with Various Parenting Behaviors (Natalie Scanlon, in progress)
  • PTSD Symptoms, Experiential Avoidance, and Risk Recognition Deficits in the Sexual Revictimization of Female CSA Survivors (Janina Mayeux, defended October 2014)
  • An Examination of the Relations between Mood-Induced Interpretations of Ambiguity, Cognitive Errors, and Girls’ Symptoms of Anxiety Versus Depression (Cassondra Hoskinson, defended March 2013)
  • Mothers’ Parenting of Children’s Emotions: Exploring the Role of Emotion Regulation, Experiential Avoidance, and Affective Symptoms (David Heckler, defended June 2012)
  • Do Girls’ Threat Appraisals, Self-Blame Appraisals, and/or Anxiety Sensitivity Mediate the Relation between Marital Conflict and Girls’ Depression Versus Anxiety?  (Meghan Goodrich, defended June 2012)
  • The Relation between Mothers’ and Daughters’ Social Comparisons and Internalizing Symptomatology: Cognitive and Familial Moderators and Mediators (Tabatha Blount, defended May 2011)
  • Perceived Older Sibling Support and Familism as Moderators of the Relations between Diabetes Stress and Social Competency and Psychological Functioning in Youth with Type 1 Diabetes. (Kelly Davis, defended May 2010)
  • Perceived Similarity and Internalizing Problems in Relation to Friendship Quality and Friend-Related Cognitions (Leslie Romero, defended June 2010)